You know that horrible, pervasive, wretched little voice in the back of your head that says you aren't good enough? Smart enough? Lovable? Capable? Worth anything? Yeah, that one... It's been screaming at me the last several days. It won't stay in the back of my head. It won't shut up. It's made me cry. It's wiped me out. I've been slow to smile, slower to laugh. I feel heavy; weighed down by my inadequacies. I walk with my head down while the insidiousness fills me. The voice is real. It's loud. It's devastating. It's heart breaking.

You what else is real, though? Grace. Grace is real. I was leaving work yesterday, part of the horde --which meant for a few minutes that I didn't feel alone -- and the snippets of overheard conversation were louder than the hateful one in my mind. I raised my head as I walked outside, and experienced grace. The sun was shining, the breeze was fresh and delicious. I sat, waiting for the shuttle, and watched the guy next to me, a cafeteria worker by his apron, open and immerse himself in a book of poetry. I watched a social worker greet a nurse like an old friend, and smiled at their embrace. All the while, the sun shone. On the shuttle, I listened to the girl next to me giggle quietly while she played Draw Something on her phone, and a breeze came through the open window. I walked to my car, the sun was still shining, the breeze danced, the air smelled like Russian Olive and spring. I could see, smell, hear, use my legs, breathe. I filled my lungs, raised my face to the sun, and whispered a prayer of thanks for grace.

Today, the voice is quieter. Today, I have whispered gratitude for the ability to see grace when it was given. I have smiled. I have laughed. I have accomplished some things. I can breathe.